"At the Quinte Hotel" by Al Purdy
"At the Quinte Hotel" by Al Purdy stories

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I am drinking I am drinking yellow flowers
Source: FrostyTheSasquatch https://www.reddit.com/r/...

"At the Quinte Hotel" by Al Purdy

by FrostyTheSasquatch

I am drinking

I am drinking yellow flowers

in underground sunlight

and you can see that I am a sensitive man

and I notice that the bartender is a sensitive man

so I tell him the beer he draws

is half fart and half horse piss

and all wonderful yellow flowers

But the bartender is not quite

so sensitive as I supposed he was

the way he looks at me now

and does not appreciate my exquisite analogy

Over in one corner two guys

are quietly making love

in the brief prelude to infinity

Opposite them a peculiar fight

enables the drinkers to lay aside

their comic books and watch with interest

while I watch with interest

a wiry little man slugs another guy

then tracks him bleeding into the toliet

and slugs him to the floor again

with ugly red flowers on the tile

three minutes later he roosters over

to the table where his drunk friend sits

with another friend and slugs both

of em ass-over-electric-kettle

so I have to walk around

on my way for a piss

Now I am a sensitive man

so I say to him mildly as hell

"You shouldn'ta knocked over that good beer

with them beautiful flowers in it"

So he says "Come on"

So I Come On

like a rabbit with weak kidneys I guess

like a yellow streak charging

on flower power I suppose

& knock the shit outa him & sit on him

(he is just a little guy)

and say reprovingly

"Violence will get you nowhere this time chum

Now you take me

I am a sensitive man

and would you believe I write poems?"

But I could see the doubt in his upside down face

in fact in all the faces

"What kind of poems?"

"Flower poems"

"So tell us a poem"

I got off the little guy but reluctantly

for he was comfortable

and told them this poem

They crowded around me with tears

in their eyes and wrung my hands feelingly

for my pockets for

it was a heart-warming moment for literature

and moved bt the demonstrable effect

of great Art and the brotherhood of people I remarked

"-the poem oughta be worth some beer"

It was a mistake in terminology

for silence came

and it was brought home to me in the tavern

that poems will not realy buy beer or flowers

or a goddam thing

and I was sad

for I am a sensitive man

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